Ability Grouping
The practice of placing students in groups based on academic ability or achievement.
Responding to a new object or event by either modifying an existing scheme or forming a new one.
African American English
Dialect of some African American communities characterized by certain pronunciations, idioms, and grammatical constructions different from those of Standard English.
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)
Legislation in the US that extends civil rights protection of persons with disabilities to private-sector employment, all public services, public accommodations, transportation, and telecommunication including physical accessibility and the removal of barriers to hotels, restaurants, grocery stores, and parks if that can be accomplished without great difficulty or expense.
Antecedent Stimulus
Stimulus that increases the likelihood that a particular response will follow.

Stimulus that precede and induce behaviors.
Applied behavior analysis (ABA)
Systematic application of stimuls-response principles to address a chronic behavior problem.
Mentorship in which a learner works intensively with an experienced adult to learn how to perform complex new skills.
Assertive discipline
An approach to classroom management that promotes a clear and firm response style with students.
Process of observing a sample of a student’s behavior and drawing inferences about the student’s knowledge and abilities.
Responding to and possibly interpreting a new event in a way that is consistent with an existing scheme.
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
Disorder marked by inattention, inability to inhibit inappropriate thoughts and behaviors, or both.
Focusing of mental processes on particular stimuli.

Attribution theory
Theoretical  perspective focusing on people’s explanations (attributions) concerning the causes of events that befall them, as well as on the behaviors that result from such explanations.
Personally constructed causal explanations for a success or failure.
Authentic Activity
Approach to instruction similar to one students might encounter in the outside world.
Autism Spectrum Disorders
Disorders marked by impaired social cognition, social skills, and social interaction, presumably due to a brain abnormality; extreme forms often associated with significant cognitive and linguistic delays and highly unusual behaviors.
Basic needs to control the course of one’s own life.
Theoretical perspective in which learning and behavior are described and explained in terms of stimulus-response relationships, and motivation is often the result of deficit-based drives.

Adherents to this perspective are called Behaviorists.

General sense that one is an important and valued member of the classroom.
Bloom’s taxonomy
Taxonomy of six cognitive processes, varying in complexity, that lessons might be designed to foster.

Situation in which a learner believes that success is possible with sufficient effort.
Classical conditioning
Form of learning in which a new, involuntary response is acquired as a result of two stimuli being presented at the same time.
Classroom Climate
Overall psychological atmosphere of the classroom.
Classroom Management
Establishment and maintenance of a classroom environment conducive to learning and achievement.
Cognitive Dissonance
Feeling of mental discomfort caused by new information that conflices with current knowledge or beliefs.
Cognitive Modeling
Demonstrating how to think about as well as how to do a task.

Cognitive Style
Characteristic way in which a learner tends to think about a task and process new information; typically comes into play automatically rahter than by choice.
Community of learners
Class in which teacher and students actively and collaboratively work to create a body of knowledge and help one another learn.
Basic need to be effective in dealing with the environment.
Comprehension Monitoring
Process of checking onself to be sure one understands and remembers newly acquired information.
Concept Map
Diagram of concepts and their interrelationships; used to enhance learning and memory of a topic.

Conceptual Change
Revision of one’s understanding of a topic in response to new information.
Concrete operations stage
Piaget’s third stage of cognitive development, in which adult-like logic appears but is limited to concrete reality.
Conditioned response (CR)
Response that begins to elicit by a particular (conditioned) stimulus through classical conditioning.

Conditioned Stimuli (CS)
Stimulus that begins to elicit a particular response through classical conditioning.
Events (stimuli) that occur following a behavior and that influences the probability of the behaviors recurring.
Realization that if nothing is added or taken away, amount stays the same regardless of alterations in shape or arrangement.;
Theoretical perspective proposing that learners construct (rather than absorb) a body of knowledge from their experiences – knowledge that may or may not be an accurate representation of external reality. Adherents to this perspective are called constructivists.
Contingency Contract
Formal agreement between teacher and student that identifies behaviors the student will exhibit and the reinforcers that will follow.
Situation in which one event (reinforcement) happens only after another event (specific response) has already occurred (one event is contingent on the other’s occurrence).
Crystallized Intelligence
Knowledge and skills accumulated from prior experience, schooling, and culture.

Use of simple signals to indicate that a certain behavior is desired or that a certain behavior should stop.
Cultural Bias
Extent to which assessment tasks either offend or unfairly penalize some students because of their ethnicity, gender, or SES.
Cultural mismatch
Situation in which a child’s home culture and the school culture hold conflicting expectations for the child’s behavior.
Culture Shock
Sense of confusion when a student encournters a culture with behavioral expectations for the child’s behavior.
Behaviors and belief systems that members of a long-standing social group share and pass along to successive generations.
Declarative Knowledge
Knowledge related to “what is” – that is, to the nature of how things are, were, or will be.

Developmental milestone
Appearance of a new, developmentally more advanced behavior.
Form of a language that has certain unique pronunciations, idioms, and grammatical structures and is characteristic of a particular region or ethnic group.
Differentiated instruction
Practice of individualizing instructional methods, and possibly also individualizing specific content and instructional goals, to align with each student’s existing knowledge, skills, and needs.
Inability to explain new events with exisiting schemes; tends to be accompanied by a sense of discomfort.
Distribution intelligence
Idea that people act more “intelligently” when they have physical, symbolic, or social assistance.
Due Process
The principle that government must respect all legal rights that are owed to a person.
Cognitive process in which learners embellish on new information based on what they already know.

Emotional and behavioral disorders
Emotional states and behaviors that consistently and significantly disrupt academic learning and performance.
Changing the format of information being stored in memory in order to remember it more easily.
Entity view of intelligence
Belief that intelligence is a “thing” that is relatively permanent and unchangeable.

State of being able to explain new events with existing schemes.
Ethnic group
People who have common historical roots, values, beliefs, and behaviors and who share a sense of interdependence.
Ethnic Identity
Awareness of one’s membership in a particular ethnic or cultural group, and willingness to adopt behaviors characteristic of group.
Expectancy-value theory
Theoretical perspective proposing that human motivation is a function of two beliefs; that one can succeed in an activity (expectancy) and that there are direct and indirect benefits in performing the activity (value).
Extrinsic Motivation
Motivation resulting from factors external to the individual and unrelated to the task being performed.
Extrinsic reinforcer
Reinforcer that comes from the outside environment, rather than from within the learner.

Fair and nondiscriminatory evaluation
Nonbiased, multi-factored methods of evaluation to determine if a child has a disbaility and needs special education; nondiscriminatory evaluation with regard to race, culture, or native langauge, with placement decisions made on basis of multiple test scores and observations.
Fluid intelligence
Ability to acquire knowledge quickly and adapt effectively to new situations.;
Formal Operations Stage
Piaget’s 4th and final stage of cognitive development, in which logical reasoning processes are applied to abstract ideas as well as to concrete objects, and more sophisticated scientfic and mathematical reasoning processes emerge.
Free and appropriate public education (FAPE)
Special education and related services that (a) have been provided at public expense, under public supervision and direction and without charge; (b) meet the standards of the state educational agency; (c) include an appropriate preschool, elementary, or secondary school education in the state involved; and (d) are provided in conformity with the individualized education program.
Functional analysis
Examination of inappropriate behavior and its antecedents and consequences to determing one or more purposes (functions) that the behvairo might serve for the learner.

Theoretical general factor in intelligence that influences one’s ability to learn in a wide variety of contexts.
Unusually high ability in one or more areas, to the point where students require special educational services to help them meet their full potential.
Goal Theory
Theoretical perspective that portrays human motivation as being directed toward particular goals; the nature of these goals determines the specific ways in which people think and behave.

Group difference
Consistently observed differences (on average) among diverse groups of students (students of different genders or ethnic backgrounds).
Guided participation
A child’s performance, with guidance and support, of an activity in the adult world.
Philosophical perspective in which people are seen as having tremendous potential for psychological growth and as continually striving to fulfill that potential. Adherents to this perspective are called humanists.
The practice of educating all students, including those with severe and multiple disabilities, in neighborhood schools and general education classrooms.
Incremental view of intelligence
Belief that intelligence can improve with effort and practice.
Individual constructivism
Theoretical perspective that focuses on how people, as individuals, construct meaning from the events around them.

Individual differences
Variability in abilities and characteristics (intelligence, personality, etc.)
Individualized education program (IEP)
Written document required by the IDEA for every child with a disability; includes statements of present performance, annual goals, instructional objectives, specific educational services needed, extent of participation in the general education program, evaluation procedures, and relevant dates and must be signed by parents as well as educational personnel.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

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S. legislation granting educational rights to people with cognitive, emotional, or physical disabilities from birth until age 21; initially passed in 1975, it has been amended and reauthorized in 1997 and again in 2004. IDEA operates under 6 basic principles: zero reject, nondiscriminatory identification and evaluation, free and appropriate public education, least restrictive environment, due process, and parent and student participation in shared decision making with regard to educational planning.

Information Processing Theory
Theoretical perspective that focuses on how learners mentally think about (process) new information and events and how such processes change with development.
Intelligence test
General measure of current cognitive functioning, use primarily to predict academic achievement over the short run.
Ability to modify and adjust behaviors to accomplish new tasks successfulyy; involves many different mental processes and may vary in nature depending on one’s culture.
Internalized Motivation
Adoption of other’s priorities and values as one’s own.
Intrinsic Motivation
Motivation resulting from personal characteristics or inherent in the task being performed.

Intrinsic reinforcer
Reinforcer provided by onself or inherent in a task being performed.;
IQ score
Score on an intelligence test, determined by comparing a student’s performance on the test with the performance of others in the same age group. For most tests, it is a standard score with a mean of 100 and a standard deviation of 15.
Learned Helplessness
General, fairly pervasive belief that one is incapable of accomplishing tasks and has little or no control over the environment.
Learning Disability
Deficiency in one or more specific cognitive processes despite relatively normal cognitive functioning in other areas.
Long-term change in mental representations or associations due to experience.
Least restrictive environment
Educational setting for special needs child that most closely resembles a regular school program and also meets child’s special education needs.

Locus of causality
The location – internal or external – of the cause of behavior.
Logical consequences
Unpleasant consequence that follows naturally or logically from a student’s misbehavior.
Long-term memory
Component of memory that holds knowledge and skills for a relatively long time.

Mastery goal
Desire to acquire additional knowledge or master new skills.
Mastery Learning
Approach to instruction in which students learn one topic thoroughly before moving to a subsequent one.
Mastery Orientation
General, fairly pervasive belief that one is capable of accomplishing challenging tasks.
Unfolding of genetically controlled chanes as a child develops.
Meaningful Learning
Cognitive process in which learners relate new information to things they already know.
Mental Retardation
Disability characterized by significantly below-average general intelligence and deficits in practical and social skills.
Knowledge and beliefs about one’s own cognitive processes, as well as conscious attempts to engage in behaviors and thought processes that increase learning and memory.

Memory aid or trick designed to help students learn and remember specific piece of information.
Demonstrating a behavior for another; also, observing and imitating another’s behavior.
Inner state that energizes, directs, and sustains behavior.
Multicultural Curriculum
Instructional concepts that integrate perspectives and experiences of numerous diverse groups and representing various cultures, ethnicities, ages, gender, and religions.

Theory of Multiple Intelligences
A theory that claims people are “intelligent” in many different areas, including cognitive, emotional, and social domains.
Need for arousal
Ongoing need for either physical or cognitive stimulation.
Need for autonomy
Basic need for independence.
Need for competence
Basic need to believe that one can deal effectively with the overall environment.
Need for relatedness
Basic need to feel socially connected to others and to secure others’ love and respect.
Need for self-determination
Basic need to believe that one has some autonomy and control regarding the course of one’s life.

Negative reinforcement
A response increases as a result of the removal of a stimulus.
In assessment, data regarding the typical performance of various groups of students on a standardized test or other norm-referenced measure of a particular characteristic or ability.
Operant Conditioning
Form of learning in which a response increases in frequency as a result of being followed by reinforcement.
Overly broad view of the objects or events that a concept includes.
Performance-approach goal
Desire to look good and receive favorable judgments from others.
Performance-avoidance goal
Desire not to look bad or receive unfavorable judgments from others.
Positive Behavioral Support (PBS)
Systematic intervention that addresses chronic misbehaviors by (a) identifying the purposes those behaviors might serve for a student and (b) providing more appropriate ways for a student to achieve the same ends.
Positive psychology
Theoretical perspective that portrays people as having many unique qualities that propel them to engage in productive, worthwhile activities; it shares early humanists’ belief that people strive to fulfill their potential but also shares contemporary psychologists’ belief that theories of motivation must be research-based.

Positive reinforcement
Phenomenon in which a response increases as a result of the presentation (rather than removal) of a stimulus.
Preoperational stage
Piaget’s second stage of cognitive development, in which children can think about objects beyond their immediate view but do not yet reason in logical, adult-like ways.
Presentation Punishment
Punishment involving presentation of a new stimulus, presumably one a learner finds unpleasant.
Primary Reinforcer
Consequence that satisfies a biologically built-in need.
Prior Knowledge activation
Process of reminding learners of things they have already learned relative to a new topic.
Procedural Knowledge
Knowledge concerning how to do something.

Consequence that decreases the frequency of the response it follows.
Reciprocal Causation
Mutual cause-and-effect relationships among environment, behavior, and personal variables as these three factors influence learning and development.
Cognitive process in which information is repeated over and over as a possible way of learning and remembering it.
Act of following a response with a reinforcer.
Consequence of a response that leads to increased frequency of the response relationships. More recently, it has come to incorporate cognitive processes as well, hence its alternative name social cognitive theory.
Removal punishment
Punishment involving removal of an existing stimulus, presumably one a learner finds desirable and doesn’t want to lose.
Process of “finding” information previously stored in memory.

Rote learning
Learning information in a relatively un-nterpreted form, without making sense of it or attaching much meaning to it.
Support mechanism that helps a learner successfully perform a task within his or her zone of proximal development.
General understanding of what an object or event is typically like.
In Piaget’s theory, organized group of similiar actions or thoughts that are used repeatedly in response to the environment.

Secondary reinforcer
Consequence that becomes reinforcing over time through its association with another reinforcer.
Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973
A federal law that prohibits the denial of participation in, benefits of, or discrimination in any program or activity receiving general financial assistance because of a documented disability, history of a disability, or the appearance of having a disability.
Self-determination theory
Theoretical perspective proposing that human beings have a basic need for autonomy (self-determination) about the courses that their lives take; it further proposes that humans also have basic needs to feel competent and to have close, affectionate relationships with others.

Belief that one is capable of executing certain behaviors or reaching certain goals.
Behavior that undermines one’s success as a way of protecting self-worth during difficult tasks.
Semantic knowledge
Knowledge of the meanings of words and word combinations.
Sensitive period
Generally determined age range during which a certain aspect of a child’s development is especially susceptible to environmental conditions.
Sensorimotor stage
Piaget’s first stage of cognitive development, in which schemes are based largely on behaviors and perceptions.
Sensory register
Component of memory that holds incoming information in an unanalyzed form for a very brief time.

Situation learning and cognition
Knowledge, behaviors, and thinking skills acquired and used primarily within certain contexts, with limited if any use in other contexts.
Situated Motivation
Motivation that emerges at least partly from conditions in a learner’s immediate environment.
Situational Interest
Interest evoked temporarily by something in the environment.
Social Constructivism
Theoretical perspective that focuses on people’s collective efforts to impose meaning on the world.

Social Learning Theory
Theoretical perspective in which learning by observing others is the focus of study. Initially, this perspective focused largely on stimulus-response.
Spiral Curriculum
Bruner’s design for teaching that introduces the fundamental structure of all subjects early in the school year, then revisits the subjects in more and more complex forms over time.
Stage theory
Theory that depicts development as a series of relatively discrete periods (stages).
Standard English
Form of English generally considered acceptable at school, as reflected in textbooks and grammar instruction.
Student at risk
Student who has a high probability of failing to acquire the minimum academic skills necessary for success in the adult world.
Student with special needs
Student who is different enough from peers that he or she requires specially adapted instructional materials and practices.
Group that resists the ways of the dominant culture and adopts its own norms for behavior.
Genetic predisposition to respond in particular ways to one’s physical and social environments.
Phenomenon in which something a person has learned at one time affects how the person learns or performs in a later situation.
Triarchic theory of intelligence
View of intelligence; proponents argue that the intelligent behavior arises from a balance between analytical, creative and practical abilities.
Unconditioned response (UCR)
Response that is elicited by a particular (unconditioned) stimulus without prior knowledge.
Unconditioned stimulus (UCS)
Stimulus that elicits a particular response without prior learning.
Overly narrow view of the objects or events that a concept includes.
Vicarious Punishment
Phenomenon in which a response decreases in frequency when another person is observed being punished for that response.
Vicarious Reinforcement
Phenomenon in which a response increase in frequency when another person is observed being reinforced for that response.
Visual imagery
Process of forming mental pictures of objects or ideas.
Visual-spatial ability
Ability to imagine and mentally manipulate two and three dimensional figures
Working memory
Component of memory that holds and actively thinks about and processes a limited amount of information.
Zone of proximal development (ZPD)
Range of tasks that a child can perform with the help and guidance of others but cannot yet perform independently.